Evaluation of City Teaching Alliance’s Transformational Social Emotional Learning Professional Learning Programming

Portrait of school children smiling in classroom

The use of transformative social emotional learning (T-SEL) programming is important and promising for teachers as students continue to face challenges related to COVID-19, institutional racism, and school safety, as well as other issues including housing and food insecurity. By training teachers to employ culturally relevant social-emotional practices, they ensure that all students can thrive.

City Teaching Alliance received a U.S. Department of Education Supporting Effective Educator Development grant to develop a T-SEL professional learning program and for AIR to evaluate their programming, specifically its impact on teacher and student outcomes. AIR conducted a mixed methods impact study that included a randomized control experiment as well as teacher interviews across three metropolitan areas.

Teachers who participated in the T-SEL program reported statistically significant, large, positive impacts on their practice, specifically in their agency, collaborative problem solving, and curiosity. However, these large impacts did not translate to immediate statistically significant student impacts, which may be due to timing, sample size, and selected student outcomes.

Lisa Merrill headshot
Senior Researcher